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DrCaleb @ Fri May 20, 2022 6:48 am

Voyager 1 sends mysterious data from 14.5 billion miles away

NASA has reported that while the venerable Voyager 1 probe appears to be functional, there does appear to be something up with some of its instruments. According to its recent press release, readouts from the Attitude Articulation and Control System (AACS) seem invalid.

For an as yet unknown reason, data received from the system doesn't seem to match up with what’s actually happening onboard.

This piece of kit is vital for monitoring and controlling the 45-year-old probe's orientation, and it is also vital for keeping Voyager 1's high-gain antenna pointed precisely at Earth. This enables it to send data home, so is very important to keep working properly.

"All signs suggest the AACS is still working, but the telemetry data it’s returning is invalid. For instance, the data may appear to be randomly generated, or does not reflect any possible state the AACS could be in," explains NASA.

Engineers in charge of the probe report that the issue hasn't triggered the probe's fault protection systems, whose role is to put the spacecraft into “safe mode” should serious issues arise.

In this mode, Voyager 1 would be able to conduct only essential operations, giving engineers time to diagnose an issue. Reassuringly, since Voyager 1's signal hasn't weakened, this must mean that its high-gain antenna remains in its prescribed orientation with Earth.

"The team will continue to monitor the signal closely as they continue to determine whether the invalid data is coming directly from the AACS or another system involved in producing and sending telemetry data. Until the nature of the issue is better understood, the team cannot anticipate whether this might affect how long the spacecraft can collect and transmit science data," said NASA.


DrCaleb @ Fri May 20, 2022 7:27 am


The sun as you've never seen it before


bootlegga @ Fri May 20, 2022 9:59 am

An asteroid impact could wipe out an entire city. Here’s NASA’s plan

Meet the one NASA mission that could save us from extinction


Scape @ Sun May 22, 2022 1:44 pm ... WL&index=6


DrCaleb @ Tue May 24, 2022 6:26 am

Hubble's "magnum opus": most precise measurement of universe's expansion

NASA has released a huge new report that astronomers are calling Hubble’s magnum opus. Analyzing 30 years of data from the famous space telescope, the new study makes the most precise measurement yet of how fast the universe is expanding.

Astronomers have known for the better part of a century that the universe is expanding, thanks to the observation that galaxies are moving away from us – and the farther away they are, the faster they’re traveling. The speed at which they’re moving, relative to their distance from Earth, is a figure called the Hubble constant, and measuring this value was one of the primary missions of the space telescope of the same name.

To measure the Hubble constant, astronomers study distances to objects whose brightness is known well – that way, the dimmer it appears, the farther away it is. For relatively close objects within our galaxy or in nearby ones, this role is filled by Cepheids, a class of stars that pulse in a predictable pattern. For greater distances, astronomers use what are called Type Ia supernovae – cosmic explosions with a well-defined peak brightness.

I have to point out, that this accelleration on the expansion of the Universe is the reason we have postulated that 'dark energy' may be responsible. We think that, because we assume that gravity has no distance limit, the gravity from those far away galaxies is affecting us right now. But an alternate theory of gravity is being explored, where gravity is limited in its affect, and then the need for dark energy isn't needed to explain the acceleration, because the galaxies would be far enough away to not attract each other any more.

But this explanation opens other doors to other problems, so stay tuned! ;) Science is a process.


DrCaleb @ Tue May 24, 2022 6:42 am


New photo reveals a NASA spacecraft cloaked in Martian dust

Earlier this month NASA announced that it would soon have to cease science operations on its Mars InSight lander due to diminishing power levels from the vehicle's dust-cloaked solar panels. The spacecraft, which landed on the red planet in November 2018 to study seismic activity, simply cannot produce enough power to operate normally.

Most of the other landers have lasted so long because the Martian 'dust devils' came along and cleaned the dust off their panels. So far, that hasn't happened with InSight.


DrCaleb @ Wed May 25, 2022 9:01 am

NGC 541 fuels an irregular galaxy in new Hubble image


This striking pair is an elliptical galaxy NGC 541 and an unusual star-forming, irregular dwarf galaxy known as Minkowski's object (the bluish object to the lower left of NGC 541). Elliptical galaxies are nearly spherical to egg-shaped groups of stars that form when galaxies merge. NGC 541 shoots out radio jets that are invisible to human eyes but detectable by radio telescopes. These jets originate in the accretion disk around the galaxy's central black hole. ... ubble.html


DrCaleb @ Thu May 26, 2022 6:08 am

Famous 'alien' Wow! signal may have come from distant, sunlike star


Researchers may have pinpointed the source of a famous supposed alien broadcast discovered nearly a half century ago.

The prominent and still-mysterious Wow! Signal, which briefly blared in a radio telescope the night of Aug. 15, 1977, may have come from a sun-like star located 1,800 light-years away in the constellation Sagittarius.

"The Wow! Signal is considered the best SETI candidate radio signal that we have picked up with our telescopes," Alberto Caballero, an amateur astronomer, told Live Science. SETI, or the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, is a field that has been listening for possible messages from otherworldly technological beings since the middle of the 20th century, according to NASA. (opens in new tab)

Appearing during a SETI search at the Ohio State University's Big Ear telescope, the Wow! Signal was incredibly strong but very brief, lasting a mere 1 minute and 12 seconds, according to a report written by its discoverer (opens in new tab), astronomer Jerry Ehman, in honor of its 30th anniversary.

Upon seeing a printout of an anomalous signal, Ehman scribbled "Wow!" on the page, giving the event its name. The now-deconstructed Big Ear telescope looked for messages at the electromagnetic frequency band of 1420.4056 megahertz, which is produced by the element hydrogen.


DrCaleb @ Thu May 26, 2022 8:12 am

Potential new meteor shower is 'all or nothing event,' says NASA astronomer

A blast of new meteors may emerge during a tau Herculid meteor shower on May 30 and 31, but that's not a sure thing.

NASA astronomer Bill Cooke termed the potential meteor shower milestone an "all or nothing event" in a blog post from the agency earlier in May, as astronomers track the debris from the broken-up comet 73P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 3 (also known as SW 3).

"If the debris from SW 3 was traveling more than 220 miles [354 kilometers] per hour when it separated from the comet, we might see a nice meteor shower," Bill Cooke, who leads NASA's meteoroid environment office at the agency's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, said in a statement (opens in new tab).

"If the debris had slower ejection speeds," Cooke added, "then nothing will make it to Earth and there will be no meteors from this comet."

If you're hoping to photograph the tau Herculid meteor shower, or want to prepare your gear for the next skywatching event, check out our best cameras for astrophotography and best lenses for astrophotography. Read our guide on how to photograph meteors and meteor showers for more helpful tips to plan out you photo session. ... or-nothing


Scape @ Thu May 26, 2022 1:19 pm ... L&index=15


DrCaleb @ Fri May 27, 2022 9:07 am ... n-bit.html


Scape @ Sat May 28, 2022 3:44 pm


DrCaleb @ Mon May 30, 2022 9:26 am

Are we in for a spectacular meteor shower? Astronomers aren't sure, but suggest looking up tonight


Scape @ Fri Jun 03, 2022 12:48 am ... WL&index=3


DrCaleb @ Wed Jun 08, 2022 7:35 am

Russia plans to restart German telescope without permission



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